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Bumper full-price Black Friday for indies

Fashion independents have reported a spike in full-price sales over the Black Friday weekend at the end of November, as discounts in multiples drew shoppers out on to the high street.

Experts had predicted that Black Friday, on 25 November, would largely be an online event, but footfall on UK high streets was up 2.8% on 2015, research firm Springboard reported. Many independents refused to discount, but enjoyed an uplift in sales nonetheless.

“We had a very busy weekend, up on last year, even though we didn’t discount,” said Archie Hume, co-owner of countrywear retailer A Hume in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. 

Darren Hoggett, co-owner of J&B Menswear in Norwich, had a similar experience: “We did no promotions whatsoever during Black Friday week and we were up 42.7% on last year.”

However, he argued that people are “getting a bit bored” of Black Friday and trade was up thanks to other factors: “The weather was dry and cold, and people had just been paid and they wanted to spend their money.”

Ann Coxon, owner of Leggs women’s and men’s wearstore in Darlington, agreed: “A lot of people were out looking for Christmas presents.”

Meanwhile, logistics companies welcomed the more staggered approach taken to Black Friday this year, whereby retailers spread out their discounts over several days.

Tony Mannix, chief executive of Clipper Logistics, said: “Starting deals pre-Black Friday and running them through the week has smoothed the flow of deliveries and taken out the enormous spike in demand that caused some systems in 2014 to crack under the pressure.

“Moving away from one mad day means people’s shopping decisions are a lot more considered and you don’t see returns going through the roof.”


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